After an enticing build up for their new single on Tik Tok, Underscore have finally released their sophomore single Never Coming back, and oh boy it slaps like a prima donna.
Unlike their first release Dirty Word, Never Coming Back hits hard and heavy with a lumbering blues groove that finishes on a crunchy chromatic descent. Front man Jonathan Meyer describes the track as a “bitter breakup song that draws on progressive rock influences”. Never Coming Back builds on this idea switching between sarcastic verses and emotionally charged choruses. A soulful solo leads into a fast paced bridge that carries the song into a final heavy iteration of the tracks iconic riff.
Underscore features Hon Manawangphiphat on bass guitar, Josh Johnston on drums, and Jonathan Meyer on guitar and vocals. The trio started playing music together as students at the University of Auckland, and have performed shows throughout Auckland ever since. While Jonathan is the principal songwriter and guitarist, the whole band brings together their backgrounds in pop, rock, metal, and jazz to create the one-of-a-kind sound Underscore is known for.
This track was a lot of fun to listen to, and we’re keen to see where Underscores following releases take them.
Make sure to follow them on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok.
There’s something unnervingly real about the sophomore track on The Cold Year’s album Prey for Me. “Kill Yourself” is raw, edgy, and visceral. Initially it sounds like Chet Faker’s most distressing day, and quickly moves into something so much more epic and angsty. Shrouded in lyrical genius, each horrific sentiment crawls into your ears like a tarantula making its nest. The song opens with the line “swallowing nails and spitting out corkscrews”, and moves into “drinking pesticide like it’s cheap wine.” The poetry in The Cold Year’s lyrics spiked my morbid curiosity. I had to listen over and over again to figure out exactly what it was that it was making me feel.
The instrumentation is overwhelmingly dissonant. Whether deliberate or not, the way the drummer and guitarist refuse to fully lock in with one tempo only adds to the chaos of whatever broken singer Matthew Skaggs has endured. The song moves, though. Just as disturbed as the subject matter, it can’t sit still. From a smokey first section the piece moves into a few bars of circus music followed by an eardrum-shattering monster of a distorted guitar solo. What is it? Gypsy jazz? Hard rock? Psychedelic punk? Who cares!
The singer’s voice emerges from the apocalyptic rubble of the instrumental section for a deflated final chorus, finishing with an unnerving detuned guitar. It’s messy, but I think that’s the point. “Kill Yourself” is an absolute sonic experience. It’s only four minutes, but you’ve lived a life or two by the time it’s over. I’d hate to be whoever inspired this song.
You can stalk this “bastard jazz three piece” on Spotify, Facebook or instagram.
New kids on the block Pluto Gang have released their debut single “Moggy Oxvine”, and it bops like a bobble-head dog in a vintage car. Reminiscent of Vulfpeck, the song utilises quirky storytelling lyrics and smooth backing vocals to create a groovy soundscape. It’s easy to imagine the North Carolina based band jamming in their mate’s bedroom, and that’s exactly how the song came into existence.
Just when you’ve become comfortable with the funky soundscape the song takes it down a notch and moves into a half time instrumental section. We go from boogying at a roller disco to playing puff puff pass with our high school mates. The instrumental section is psychedelic, yet calming. I don’t even mind that the guitar solo appears to be three minutes long. The song is a bit of a time capsule— it’s the perfect tune to crank while you’re taking snaps with your polaroid camera.
Like the female lead “Moggy Oxvine,” herself the band themselves are somewhat enigmatic. Despite considerable success with their single, their persona remains relatively mysterious. With an alleged eight additional tracks ready to record, I can’t wait to find out what’s next for this fun-filled six piece.
Keep up with their antics on Facebook, instagram and Spotify.
Marcus Felix is the Whittier based son-of-an-80s-DJ who’s just released his debut single with u, and it is g r o o v y. The use of lazy synth and nonchalant vocals evoke a feeling of sleepy nostalgia, which makes sense for a tune written about “day to day life” in high school. The tasteful use of kit drives the song, making it an easy roadtrip listen. Reminiscent of Mac Demarco, with u is well produced and its sound is fresh.
Felix’s lyrics are charmingly colloquial. Listening to his single is like sharing a beer in the back of a car while your mate tells you about his new girl. Overall the song is just as endearingly blazé as his social media presence, but that doesn’t stop us from eagerly anticipating his new track Out of Time to be released on February 7th.
Keep an eye out for the new single on Spotify, instagram and twitter.